For we are God’s fellow workers;
you are God’s [a] field . . .
1 Corinthians 3:9
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
God's field. Sounds beautiful. But what does that really mean?
It may mean something different to each of us. I lived on a farm for half of my childhood, so I grew up running through fields. So this particular scripture paints distinct imagery for me personally. Nevertheless, I often turn to the Webster dictionary because the background and details of a word's definition usually speak to me and further amplify the scripture.
I thought I would share one of my amateur journeys into etymology (the study of word origins) (not to be confused with entomology—the study of insects). You might find you enjoy this type of Bible study and would like to apply this approach yourself.
Here are a handful of the definitions that the online Merriam-Webster dictionary applies to FIELD and the accompanying thoughts that sprang to my mind when I read them.
\ ˈfēld \
Definition of field
1a(1): an open land area free of woods and buildings
God can "clear our landscape"; free us from entanglements of our natural selves as well as those of the world. The areas we allow God to clear will be ready to be sown and cultivated.
(2): an area of land marked by the presence of particular objects or features: dune fields
God has certainly marked each of us with particular features that project our identity to others.
Now we must ask ourselves; are we allowing ourselves to be "marked by the presence" of the Spirit of God? Is that a part of our identity as well? How would someone else describe me?
b(1): an area of cleared enclosed land used for cultivation or pasture: a field of wheat
It is important to understand that God has "enclosed" us; set a hedge about us.
~ Have You not made a hedge about him and his house
and all that he has, on every side?
You have blessed the work of his hands,
and his possessions have increased in the land. ~
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
In Genesis 2:8, God "planted a garden toward the east".
[In Hebrew: יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהִ֛ים גַּן־ בְעֵ֖דֶן מִקֶּ֑דֶם ]
The Hebrew word in this context is גַּן (gan)
It's meaning is: an enclosure, garden
And in Genesis 2:15 "the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it".
Isn't it interesting that God wanted humankind to understand the aspects of an enclosed, protected, cultivated space from the beginning? And isn't it fascinating that it was considered a state of paradise?
(2): land containing a natural resource: oil fields
God has put in each of us "natural resources"; gifts, talents, callings . . .
Sometimes we may feel like we have nothing special inside us, nothing to offer.
But that is not true. Inside us are resources—even if we don't know it yet. And our resources are something that other people need.
So I ask myself: what are the natural resources that God has placed in me?
Have I tapped into all of them?
Am I using them in the service of others?
The air is where prayers are prayed and words are spoken and things are heard . . .
It is the place of intercession . . .
c: the place where a battle is fought also : BATTLE
My mind, body & spirit are battlegrounds . . . Now there's a whole study unto itself.
These are just a few of the definitions found in the dictionary for FIELD. I could continue, but I think you can clearly see how deep a single world can take you into scriptural application.
If you want to study the word FIELD further, here is the link for the full list of definitions.
In the meantime, remember . . .
You are God's field!